Social Media and Your Job Search: Tips for Using Facebook and LinkedIn to Help Get You Hired

BlogHer Original Post

Looking good to potential employers isn't just about dressing sharp for interviews anymore. Today, employers are more likely to search for information about potential employees online and find out first hand what the world wide web has to say about them. So, for job seekers, it’s not only essential to ensure your Internet image mirrors your professional image, but that you use social media tools to help you stand out from the crowd. Jennifer Lasater, executive director of National Career Services for Kaplan University, shares a few tips about how job searchers can use social media tools to their advantage.

BlogHer: What should job hunters do to improve their online profiles?

Type your name into a search engine and see what comes up in the results. It's one of the first things an employer could do if you are a viable candidate for employment. Is there material linked to your name that is'’t the greatest? If possible, correct it now before you start your job search. Go over your Facebook page next. Are there questionable photos or posts that are too personal? Or is there something else on there that an employer might not be pleased to see? Correct those issues before starting your job search or consider changing your settings to make your page private.

How can social media help job hunters connect with employers?

If you don't already have a LinkedIn profile, build one now. Think about people who you've worked with who would recommend you on LinkedIn, and even surprise someone with a genuine recommendation that showcases their strengths on the job. Work to get recommendations posted before you start your search. If you don’t want your current employer to know you’re looking for a new job, you might not want to attach your resume to your profile. It raises a red flag, as LinkedIn already shares a great deal of your background information.

What are the benefits of joining profession-specific web groups?

It could be beneficial to join some field-related groups within LinkedIn to build your network. Joining these groups not only expands your networking capabilities, but also exposes you to some great conversations within your professional environment.

Depending on your field, there may be related organizations you can also join through Facebook, Meetup and other online groups.

Do you have any last advice for tech-savvy job hunters?

If you’re in a technology field, you might want to think about adding a QR code to your resume, suggests Lasater. QR (quick response) codes work similar to barcodes“ when a potential employer scans a QR code with the appropriate application on their mobile device, additional information, designed by and about you, appears on that device. There are a few sites out there that will help you build a QR code based off of material that you choose—it could be your LinkedIn profile or even samples of classwork or projects you’ve created that you can then attach to your resume. This code is currently being used for advertising movies, products and companies and might make you stand out from other candidates under consideration.

Let’s face it: searching for a job can be a long and laborious process. Fortunately, the world needs talented individuals like you, so don’t lose heart. The Career Resources at Kaplan University  include comprehensive career-planning services to both students and alumni. By keeping your online reputation clean, utilizing social media to your benefit and receiving assistance from Kaplan’s career specialists, you could stand apart from the crowd.

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Kaplan University provides a practical, student-centered education that prepares individuals for careers in some of the fastest-growing industries. The University, which has its main campus in Davenport, Iowa, and its headquarters in Chicago, is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (www.ncahlc.org). It serves more than 53,000 online and campus-based students. The University has 11 campuses in Iowa, Nebraska, Maryland and Maine, and Kaplan University Learning Centers in Maryland, Wisconsin, Indiana, Missouri and Florida.

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